Tag Archives: mental health awareness week

Mental Health Awareness Week – Kindness

 

Giving help

Welcome to a caringmindblog written by a former carer Matthew Mckenzie in South London. As of this blog’s writing it is Mental Health Awareness Week which is Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 18-24 May 2020 and the theme this year is kindness.

The Mental Health Foundation is a charity that works to prevent and raise awareness of mental health problems.

The Mental Health Foundation works towards a mentally healthy society for all and not just for service users but also for everyone.  The MHF believes we ALL can suffer varying levels of mental ill health any time of our lives.

The video version is below

The Mental Health Foundation works to place health and well-being in communities, families and individuals to live mentally healthier lives, with a particular focus on those at greatest risk.

mental-health-awareness-week-2020

So……why the theme of kindness this year?

Well it does not take long to work out that 2020 has been a particularly unkind year to practically everyone. With many lives around the world being not only affected by the coronavirus, but also the devastation it brings to families suffering loss, job losses, poverty and uncertainty. The theme of kindness has never before been so important.

Still, kindness is more than just being kind, there is so much more to it.

What is Kindness?

To be kind, we must understand what kindness is, even though society bombards us to be strong, be individualistic, focus on getting ahead and not having time for anyone else.

The problem is if we all begin to think like this, then it would not take long before people, families and communities ignore each other and suffer more mental low health and low well-being.

But the question remains……what is Kindness? and why practice kindness? What is in it for me? Or for us?

Being Kind is a measure of quality as in the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate to others and ourselves. Kindness should bring people together as we all have a vested interest on being happy and a feeling that we belong.

anxiety disorder icon

Kindness is also a strength of character and does not show weakness since its aim is linking with humanity. We do not to always have to befriend others, but at least give the opportunity to allow friendship.

Kindness can be a form of being generous and considerate, with little to no expectation of reward since a little thank you, smile or sympathy can go a long way. Especially when so many are suffering in this day and age.

Kindness can be a form of love although it should not be confused as being in love with someone. We can practice kindness in choosing others wants or needs over our own.

If one practices kindness it is a like a chain reaction as others learn from our kind acts and it spreads like a wave that keeps going. All it needs is one person to perform the kind act and that kind act can cause a ripple effect that affects the entire community.

Family

Kindness is not always simple or automatic as it does take practice to understand and feel it. Education especially in schools should try to introduce the ideal of kindness and avoid too much focus on religion as sometimes religion can be unkind and focus on the hereafter while kindness asks what can we do NOW within the realms of humanity. Not that I have got anything against religion, but I do feel we need a healthy balance.

Kindness can also be a form of respect and helping others without waiting for someone to help one back. Kindness is not about being weak, it is about strength to give and not needing to take all the time because we feel that we have nothing or protect our ego.

Examples of Kindness

So being kind can be so many things, but how can we practice kindness in a world that we are to become distant to be safe? Here are some examples taken from The Mental Health Foundation site.

  • Arrange to have a cup of tea and virtual catch up with someone you know
  • Arrange to watch a film at the same time as a friend and video call
  • Call a friend that you haven’t spoken to for a while
  • Tell a family member how much you love and appreciate them
  • Tell someone you know that you are proud of them
  • Tell someone you know why you are thankful for them
  • Send a motivational text to a friend who is struggling
  • Send someone you know a joke to cheer them up
  • Send someone you know a picture of a cute animal
  • Send an inspirational quote to a friend
  • Send an interesting article to a friend

We would just like to mention a final word, if you struggle to be kind to others then at least be kind to yourself and that is a whole other blog for another day…..#KindnessMatters

Mental Health Awareness week 2018

Welcome to a new blog from a mental health carer in South London. This video helps to raise awareness of mental health. Specifically mental health awareness week 2018.

stress-mhaw18

What on earth is mental health awareness week you say? I actually have done a few videos on the awareness event some years back, but let me refresh your mind.

As a note, I have also done a video version, press play to watch it.

Mental Health awareness week aims to raise awareness of mental health and mental illness or health needs. Mental illness can affect us all ranging from minor mental health problems to chronic mental health needs. Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 14th to the 20th May. For 2018 the theme is on stress. Research has shown that two thirds of us experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes

Without campaigns or events to raise awareness about stress and mental health, many people would fall victim to stress, which can actually get out of control. We all experience stress and minor levels can actually help us achieve what we are trying to do, but prolonged and high levels of stress can cause damage to our mental and physical health.

Sad man sitting head in hands on his bed in a bedroom at home

Stress can affect your mood, behaviour and body. Stress can cause any or a combination of the following.

  • Headaches
  • Sleep problems
  • Lack of focus
  • Social withdrawal
  • Feeling overwhelmed

Stress can also lead on to other mental health issues being

  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Depression
  • Addiction problems in order to cope with stress
  • Eating issues

Sometimes what we need is to recognize when we are stressed and either stop or behaviour or seek help. Taking time out from stressful situations can do us a world of good, especially speaking to friends in the community.

So what have I done for MH Awareness week 2018? Not only did I promote awareness via this video, but I took part in a Curry & Chaat event over at Southwark carers. It is important not to forget those who try to protect and care for someone with mental health needs.

I hope this blog has been educational to you and hope you have a happy mental health awareness week 2018.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2017

art-meWelcome to another one of my ‘caringmind’ blog posts. My site and sometimes videos help to raise awareness of carers caring for those suffering mental health problems. When I mean carers, I do not mean care-workers. I am talking about unpaid carers, that being a friend, relative, those very close to the cared for.

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Mental Health Awareness Week 2015 – Mindfulness #mahw15

matIt is mental health awareness week as of the writing of this blog post. Mental Health Awareness week, which runs from 11th to the 17th May is run by the Mental Health Foundation. The Mental Health Foundation is a Charity that helps to improve the lives of those with mental health problems or learning disabilities. The Mental Health Foundation is involved in research, service development and providing information on mental health.

If you wish to see the video. Below is the video version of this blog post

I feel Mental Health Awareness week is important for quite a few reasons, the first reason is obviously raising the awareness of mental health and it does not have to be on mental ill health. I once had a discussion with mental health campaigner Fiona Art who specified that mental health does not have to centre itself around those who are unfortunately mentally unwell or those with live experience.

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